GARY Bowyer admitted news of Clayton Donaldson's injury has come as a "huge shock".

The Bantams target man is set to miss a couple of months at least after an operation on the toe he damaged against Morecambe.

Donaldson's diagnosis took the gloss off City's sixth win in eight games as they beat Crawley 2-1 at Valley Parade.

Goals from Harry Pritchard and Danny Devine, his first for his hometown club, lifted Bowyer's side up to second in League Two.

But again that came at a cost as Pritchard was forced off at half-time after jarring his back.

City were already missing Dylan Connolly and Donaldson - and Bowyer afterwards revealed the extent of the veteran striker's problem.

He said: "It looked like nothing more than a stubbed toe but he's since had an operation.

"It was a huge shock for us. I'm really disappointed for him.

"His attitude on and off the pitch and how he's performed has been enormous for us.

"It's got us to where we are now because the younger lads see the example he sets.

"With the list of injuries we've got and the amount of time they'll be out, it was a real team effort today."

Bowyer took inspiration in his team talk after watching England's rugby World Cup win over Australia this morning.

The City boss added: "I watched the rugby and how England defended their line at the start of the second half.

“The players looked at me strangely because I was talking about a totally different sport that they’ve probably never watched, bar James Vaughan.

“But I talked about the desire the England lads showed to get up tackle after tackle and the small wins. I thought we achieved that.”